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Messages - RussSeaton

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Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:21:32 am »
SRAM, formerly Sachs, also makes internal gear rear hubs.  Yes you can combine them with a multi ring crankset and front derailleur.  Recumbent tandems frequently use a SRAM/Sachs rear hub and triple crankset.  Chain tensioning would be accomplished with the second link.  As you state wheel strength should be good.  More gears over a wider range is a benefit.  Thus their use on tandem recumbents.  Upright bike would have no need for this though.  Disadvantage is cost and complexity.

Er... Adventure Cycling? 
Cycle America
PacTour (fast!!)
Any number of charity organizations....

There's lots of them.  To each his own -- if the OP wants a supported tour, who are we to pass judgement.

Adventure Cycling is not offering a coast to coast supported tour.  Cycle America is in 2010.  PacTour true.  Not sure I would say there are lots of them, but some.  Not judging.  Just was not aware anyone was doing such an extended supported tour ride.  Lot of committment and cost to have support people and trucks for 2+ months.

Gear Talk / Re: Tri-Cross
« on: February 25, 2009, 04:50:43 pm »
I'm new to biking, and I plan to ride across America this summer.  I know very little about bikes.

The guy at the bike place I went to really pushed a Tri-cross.  I'll be taking about 50-60 pounds with me.  I told him I wanted to research it online, but I don't see much about loaded touring on one anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?

Assuming you are referring to this bike:

Its not a loaded touring bike for carrying 50-60 pounds in panniers.  Its a cyclocross bike, sort of.  Its probably fine for pulling a trailer.

I believe there are articles on the Adventure Cycling website discussing touring bikes and what to get for a cross country bike ride.  And some webstie called crazy guy on a bike or something like that has many articles about people who rode all over the world.  I suspect many of these stories talk about the bikes and bags and trailers the people used.

I'm curious who offers coast to coast bike rides with support vehicles?

Routes / Re: Prague to...
« on: February 24, 2009, 09:30:16 am »
In 1994, going from West Germany into Czech was like going from a prosperous part of the US into a desperately poor part of Mexico. The contrast was stark and staring out at me from every doorway and every field of crops.

This seems a bit harsh.  I was in the Czech Republic in 1992.  Obviously it was less modern than West Germany.  The former East Germany was also less modern than West Germany.  I recall the exact spot on the road where I rode from former East Germany to West Germany.  The road literally changed.  And it seemed the trees were more lush, sun brighter, grass greener, etc. once I crossed that line.  But it was not that awful on the East side.  Czech and East were both older looking.  Unmodern.  Unkempt, gritty but not really bad.  I did not notice any poverty like we see in the US.  Everyone was less rich of course.  But I did not notice any extreme disparity amongst the people.  And the people I met in Czech were some of the nicest I met on my entire trip.  Which is why I like Czech.  Czech and East were probably comparable to the US in the 1920s-30s-40s when I visited in 1992.  Not bad just not up to date.

Gear Talk / Re: I need advice on a bike (and yes I am a newbie)
« on: February 23, 2009, 05:30:43 pm »
I am looking to get involved in bike touring. I am considering buying a '03 Giant OCR 1. Would this be a good bike for long distance touring? Please adise, any and all input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I would put this bike into the credit card touring department.  Not the loaded touring category.  I suspect you could put a rear rack onto the bike (via U clamps) and then carry small rear panniers and/or rack top bag.  Or one of those Berthoud bags on the seat.  Given the descriptions I saw I don't think it accomodates fenders or has rack eyelets.  It should/might handle 28mm tires.

General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: February 20, 2009, 03:24:25 pm »
What experience does anyone happen to have with riding light (personally this is all via mt bike) and just carrying a waterproof bivy and maybe a compact tent in ones pack so as to avoid expensive planned stays? 

How much weight or volume do you think you will save?  Taking the newest latest and greatest modern day camping materials.  A down sleeping bag can easily be less than 1 pound.  Maybe 13 ounces.  How much lighter is a bivy?  2 ounces maybe?  Big deal.  Tents are 3-4 pounds now days.  Fully functional 2 person tents.  And these can be pitched/carried with just the outer fly and omit the body.  Lose another 1-2 pounds.  How much lighter is your compact tent?  Unless you go with a plastic sheet as a tarp and an aluminum foil emergency blanket as sleeping bag, its hard to get much lighter than the newest tents and sleeping bags.  Why suffer with something else for no gain?  Yes I know the newest tents and sleeping bags of super light weight cost money.  But a transcontinental bike ride is 3 months.  Seems to me you would get your moneys worth.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 18, 2009, 12:56:24 pm »
0 degrees F for days all day or mostly all day?  However, in the southern tier of states you should not have to be concerned about cold-weather induced breakdowns of your bicycling equipment.

Temps ranged from -10 or so to about 5 above F.  So an average of 0 is about right.  I would agree on the southern tier route and those states prolonged cold is not a real concern.  Definitely not enough to affect equipment.  Human comfort, yes.

General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: February 18, 2009, 12:50:13 pm »
May I narrow my initial query, & request comments regarding ‘camping-avoidance’ through the western 1/2 of the Northern Tier? Or is it time to invest in canvass & a fat back-wheel?

Actually in the USA its much, much, much easier to find motels everywhere in the EASTERN half of the country.  Its the western part where you may need the camping gear.  In the east the towns are plentiful and close together.  In the west its miles and miles and miles between the tiniest of little towns.  So your plan is exactly opposite of what it needs to be.  Motel the eastern half, say from Iowa-Minnesota-Missouri east.  And camp from North-South-Dakota-Nebraska-Kansas west.

General Discussion / Re: timing and dates for TA
« on: February 18, 2009, 09:38:47 am »
Late September crossing the Rockies.  You will have bad weather.  Rain and/or snow and cold.  Very cold.  Be prepared.

General Discussion / Re: Flat Tire - Safety Alert
« on: February 18, 2009, 09:35:17 am »
You're making stuff up about the needles breaking.  In 30 years I've never had a needle break.  They are tough and will bend, never break.  After a week or two or three of use they eventually get dull.  Needles are not fragile.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 17, 2009, 09:20:53 am »
I suspect in all your Southern Tier travels the weather has never gotten really cold and stayed cold.  By cold I mean 0 F.  20s isn't cold.  And stay at 0 F for days in a row.  Blizzards don't occur when its really cold.  The air is too cold and dry to hold moisture.  Blizzards and snow occur when its in the 20s, relatively warm.  My freehub stopped working after it had been cold, 0 F, for a couple days.  Once the weather warmed up into the 20s or so, it worked fine and did not stop working again.  20 F no problem, 0 F problems.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth installing a kick stand?
« on: February 17, 2009, 09:09:55 am »
If you are talking about installing a kickstand on a loaded touring bike, make sure the kickstand can hold the bike up when it has panniers on it.  The double legged one mentioned would work.  I would not trust single leg kickstands with a loaded bike.  I've always figured its safer to lay the bike on the ground, that way you know its not going to fall over and damage anything.  Laying a bike down on the ground does not hurt anything, or the panniers.

Routes / Re: Dedicated Across America Bicycle Path
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:34:10 pm »
The problem with a bike path is sometimes it misses the towns, convenience stores, places to eat.  The Missouri gravel bike path does that.  It follows the old railroad bed of course along the river, and has extensions into the towns.  But its too remote in many areas.  Now if there was a bike path across the country, or several, that more or less paralleled the main roads, and went into the same towns and went by the the same stores, that would be good.  That was a dislike I had for the Netherlands bike paths.  They did not parallel the direct roads between towns.  They went off in all sorts of directions except the one I wanted to go in.  So as a bike tourist there, I tried not to use the bike paths and stay on the roads so I knew where I was going and knew I would go by places to eat and drink and buy stuff.

Gear Talk / Re: Winter cycling — pawls freezing
« on: February 16, 2009, 11:25:08 am »
My freehub stopped working a month or so on a ride.  Freehub, not freewheel.  1991 Deore DX to be exact.  130mm hub, 7 speed cassette.  I soak it in gear oil each year so doubt there is any grease left in it.  My winter commuting bike lives in the garage when its cold.  Gets into the 20s I suspect in the garage.  It had been cold for awhile.  It was near 0 on the day it froze up going to work.  About 1/4 mile from work the pawls stopped engaging so the freehub freewheeled in both directions.  Had to walk the remainder.  Took it inside at work and it unfroze during the day and worked going home.  For a few days I kept the bike inside the house at night and inside at work.  So no problems.  Once it got back up into the 20s for the day I left it outside again and it was fine.  Have no idea if the other ideas suggested work or not.  My suspicion is they do not.  Once it gets into the single digits and lower, freewheels, freehubs stop working.  Only 100% trouble free solution for cold weather is a fixed gear.  I thought about getting a fixed gear / freewheel cyclocross bike that could accomodate my 35mm studded tires and fenders.  Freewheel on one side and fixed on the other.  So if the freewheel stopped working, just flip the wheel around and continue.  For various reasons I have not done this yet.

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